Sunday, July 31, 2011

the many Captains...

Things have kind of been crazy lately, but here is some progress made on another page of Captain Spectre's 'Solo Flight'.  I have changed the layout for this page several times, in an effort to try and get as much story as I can in these pages. So there are some fast scene changes, and some compressed story telling, which is sore point in new comics to me, is the decompression to the fact sometimes in an issue of a new comic.... nothing happens!. Anyway hope you enjoy, since it has been a bit tough. My pain problems have been an issue the last week or so. 

Here is some great progress made on the secret Captain Spectre six inch action figure!....Wow is about the only word I can get out of my mouth as I look at each new picture of the work of Jonathan at PackRat Studios. He is doing some great stuff, and even casting the head. Man this is gonna be cool. Once finished it will have a great display base and in one of those glass domes for display at the con table when I start returning to those. Hopefully next year he and me will be making the rounds. Of course when not at a show, I will be playing with the figure......hey, we here at the Lightning Legion test all our products....that is the fun of it all. 

So get over to Jonathan's site and check out the progress shots of Captain Spectre, and all the other cool stuff he does....amazing. 

Ok, you win, I am officially eating my I said I would. I actually liked the Captain America movie. Oh sure there were parts I didn't like....but I thought the spirit of the character made it into the movie. The origin was the best parts of the movie. And Chris Evans pulled off the character nicely. It was sure nice to see a hero on the screen that wasn't wallowing in his own self pity. 
During the war I admit Steve Rogers didn't have too many demons he wore on his sleeve. And many people gripe that Rogers is a flat character. I on the other hand don't think he is. He can be written as a good character without having demons hanging on his shoulder all the time, which is what people want it seems. But in the end Cap has one of the largest demons of any hero .....EVER (Superman has the same problems). He wakes up to find his whole world gone....not just his parents, or something. He has lost a world, a way of life and all he ever knew. And Chris Evans nails the last line of the movie showing this. 

Going into the movie I hated the way Bucky and Steve's relationship was changed. But actually in the movie not much of that comes thru. And actually to me the Bucky character wasn't much at all. I just pretended he was a regular friend and member of the team, and it didn't phase me much at all. Even his death was toned down. The Bucky I know and like is the one from the rebirth stories in Tales of Suspense and the early Avengers. Bucky on the buzz bomb yelling to Cap that he sees the fuse and can stop the bomb, as Steve falls down into the water. The bomb blows up as Bucky is trying to save people's lives. Over the years writers have changed this alot. Hell even when they show it on the new Avengers cartoon show they change it too Bucky telling Cap to dive off the buzz bomb as Bucky's foot is stuck on the bomb. Not that he is trying to save people, just that he is stuck and can't get off so decides Steve is more important and needs to leave him behind.   Sometimes Hollywood or modern writers forget what a hero is. 

Then of course is the costume. I still don't like it, but I guess by the end of the movie it was growing on me. Actually it changes so much thru the film and even into the Avengers movie that it is kind of interesting to watch it's evolution. 

Also just like an old comic, we figure Red Skull is in Asgard or one of the nine realms, and of course we didn't see Bucky go splat, so both can come back at a later date. I hope not, but they may. 

Anyway it was an enjoyable movie, sure it had it's problems, like the lack of any story other than the origin. It also had it's good parts, and again the origin is the best part, that is who Steve Rogers is. 

Still chewing on my hat, as I will buy the DVD....kind of wish I had seen Thor now. But will get the DVD's of them all. Actually looking forward to having a Tales of Suspense movie night.....Iron Man, then Captain America viewings in one night. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lightning Legion progress on all fronts!

There can be alot said with the title of a comic book story, I think. Sometimes as a kid just seeing a certain cadence of words on a comic cover got me to buy it. Because when we are kids, at least my experience was that I didn't have enough money to buy all the comics I would have wanted. The titles would attract me to certain books....especially in the silver age.....Challengers of the Unknown, Journey into Mystery, Tales of Suspense, The War that Time Forgot and on and on. Books had great titles back then. Then there were the great story titles too.  So up at dawn, actually before dawn, and I started thinking of how many stories I have been working on. They are all in various stages of development and they all needed a title treatment. See if you Loyal Legionnaires can figure out the stories just from the titles. Of course 'Solo Flight' is the first Captain Spectre story.

Then some great news to share. And again let me say what a world it is with the internet. I had been following this blog for awhile;  PackRat Studios. So I shot him, Jonathan, an email since he had posted he was doing commissions......and lo and behold look what has happened!!!! How cool is this Legionnaires!

Also I have been thinking about my childhood alot lately. For better or worse I remember the best times of it and consider my childhood a pretty good one. We didn't have much spare change laying around but things were good. I used to save up my money for comics, paperbacks, and going to the movies.  Summers were filled with coming to Nebraska to stay at my grandparents house, the Rexall Drug store's comic spinner rack, black cherry soda, the town's swimming pool, ballgames and going to the movies. Of course there was that habit of trying to learn to draw, also.
So I guess with all of this I am still trying to talk myself into traveling to see the Captain America movie. As you all know I have a huge fan of the character. For a time I collected anything and everything with Captain America on it. I have Cap gumball machines, soap mits, cards, models, figures, toys, pencil boxes, and of course the comics. So the movie is getting some good reviews. So I am still trying to convince myself to drive over to Beatrice, one of the theaters close to me, and the town I was actually born in..... to feel like a kid again and catch the saturday matinee of Captain America.

I never had it as lucky as this kid......but in spirit I was probably a bigger fan. ha.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Solo Flight progress

Well, Loyal Legionnaires, I have been down and out for some days with my medical problems, and pretty much confined to the house because of the heat wave here. But even being confined to the recliner with my swollen feet and all I have managed to finish some layouts or thumbnails for upcoming pages of 'solo flight'.

As you can see a bit on this page I wanted to keep the good Captain still somewhat mysterious to the police, so I only show him in pieces and bits, or from the back or in long shots. I am also planning on adding the advent of sound effects in this story. I don't know if anyone noticed but in the close to 100 pages or strips on the site there have not been any on screen sound effects. I am not very good at making up good sound effects or even using them. I feel sometimes they are overused in comics or underused. But I do plan to use them in 'solo flight' along with the thought balloon.  Something I feel is missing in comics are the actual interworkings of the character. I find anymore in new comics they try to let the art tell all. Well it just can't do it all. I look at some comics and don't feel a connection to the character shown, or sometimes the art doesn't 'cut it' and I just don't know what is happening, or more precisely just what the hell I am supposed to get out of it. Maybe it is my age, maybe I am trying to get too much out of it, or maybe I am trying to make it too complex, but I just don't get it. I have always been the kind of guy that if I don't like a books art I don't buy it. Especially now a days with the high prices. But the words and connection to the characters have to be there too. I see so many comics now that have pages of six or seven panels that have a character doing something and maybe only one word balloon on it. I see alot of wasted storytelling time. I know some of the major companies have banned the evil thought balloon, but I think something is missing.
Also there is the 'new' reader problem. I want to get my books into hands of people that don't read comics on a normal basis. And I see and hear of so many adults that don't know how to read a comic. The thought blocks are confusing to people, they don't know who is talking, and I want my book clear and too the point and easy for lapsed readers or new readers to get into, just as much as I do regular comic readers. So get ready for sound effects and thought balloons in 'solo flight' when it gets finished.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Number One finally finished.

Well, I finally got this thing inked. It took alot longer than I thought it would. Some of the problem was my hand, some was just time as all the weekend of the 4th I was trying to finish a project for work and just didn't have time to ink on this piece. So now I enter the ranks of Mark Schultz, William Stout, Frank Frazetta, St. John and others I am sure that I haven't seen yet - in presenting Number One and Miss Maxon traveling thru the jungle.

Also I finished a shirt that I always wanted, I kind of got the idea for it from a Lovecraft hoodie I have that has a logo for the expedition from the Mountains of Madness. So I have been working on this for awhile but just finally got it posted up to zazzle so I could order me one. So I made a shirt for the 1933 East Indies expedition of the S. S. Venture. Also as a tease on the front pocket area I put one of my favorite sayings from the film.....when Capt. Englehorn is talking about the east indies and the location of Skull Island he says a complete fantasy statement that means nothing but sounds cool....Due South, 90 East ...which makes no sense in relation to where they are or where they are going....  I was actually tempted to put my all time favorite line on it. But it doesn't pertain to the ship. It is when Jack looking at the wall and replying to the size of it.....'I was up at Angkor once, and it is bigger than this and nobody knows who built it...'

Monday, July 4, 2011

Science comic.

Well this update will be short and not very sweet. At least not sweet to me. You see in receiving a salary, sometimes when the deadline falls you must obey! So this weekend I am putting the finishing touches on this science comic for work. Big Sigh! I should be doing another commission that I have to go, and working on some stuff for the upcoming Number 13, and most of all working on Captain Spectre!
But alas, I am here working on the last two panels of this science comic. I know there will be a couple more additions and changes so not going to get too worked up.
One thing to notice here is the richer colors of these pages. They are for digital release and not for print. So I thought richer colors would be better. Also these are just dark pencils and not inks. The powers that be discovered Arkham Asylum and wanted something like that.
I should also mow today as it has been awhile. So if it doesn't rain later today then that will be on the daily plan.

Sorry for the odd update. Hopefully this will be the last time for stuff like this.